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Microstructural evolution of intermetallic phase precipitates in Cr-coated zirconium alloy cladding in high-temperature steam oxidation up to 1400$$^{circ}$$C

Mohamad, A. B. ; Nemoto, Yoshiyuki  ; Furumoto, Kenichiro*; Okada, Yuji*; Sato, Daiki*

The steam oxidation test on the Cr-coated Zry cladding was studied up to 1400$$^{circ}$$C to understand the oxidation behavior under the accidental conditions. The double-sided oxidation test study showed that Cr coating can protect Zry cladding at 1200$$^{circ}$$C within 5 min. Cr coating has a protective effect on the Zry cladding up to 1200$$^{circ}$$C in a steam environment. However, in the oxidation test up to 1200$$^{circ}$$C/30 min and 1300$$^{circ}$$C/5 min, Cr coating can no longer protect Zry cladding. Furthermore, at 1300$$^{circ}$$C, the intermetallic phase of the Zr(Cr, Fe)$$_{2}$$ phase that precipitated within the Zry substrate formed as globule microstructures with Fe enrichment. In addition, the transition of the intermetallic phase within the Zry substrate from the solid to the pre-liquid and liquid phases was observed, where it was determined at 1350$$^{circ}$$C/60 min and 1400$$^{circ}$$C/30 min within the ZrO$$_{2}$$ phase (outer side region). The oxidation of the Zr(Cr, Fe)$$_{2}$$ interlayer was also determined in this study, where it resulted in the formation of the oxide phase of Cr, Zr, and Fe. It is worth mentioning that further experiments, such as mechanical testing and modeling, should be considered to support the degradation of the Cr-coated Zry cladding mainly when the liquid phase of the intermetallic phase is obtained for beyond design-basis accident environment.

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